Chromebooks are getting more popular every year, but what kind of laptops are they anyway? And what is the difference with a Windows or Apple laptop? We explain why many people choose a Chromebook. Do you already know that you want to go for a Chromebook? Then check out our favorite Chromebooks from 2021.
One of the great advantages of a Chromebook is that you don’t need a lot of storage space on your computer. With a Chromebook you work almost exclusively in the cloud. What does that mean? You do not use programs such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs locally on your computer, but you open them in the Chrome browser from the cloud. That makes a difference because you demand less from the storage space of your computer, so that it does not need all kinds of heavy parts. You can see that in the price, in the start-up speed and even in the battery life
1. Chromebooks are for cloud workers
Word processing, e-mailing and creating spreadsheets are done in the browser instead of installing programs on your system. Documents are stored in the cloud. That means a remote server stores your document and your Chromebook retrieves it live via an internet connection.
Even if you are not online for a while, Chromebooks have a mode in which you can continue working offline. As long as you have an internet connection, documents are constantly saved automatically. If your battery is empty or your Chromebook breaks down, at least your documents can be found safely in the cloud.
2. They are fast laptops
A Chromebook does not run on Windows or MacOS operating systems, but on Chrome OS. This is a simple operating system. Because you work in the cloud, programs do not have to start locally and that saves time. In a few seconds it is from off to full boot.
Even if your computer is locked, you’ll have your document in front of you in no time. You can choose to install heavier applications, but on cheaper Chromebooks they often work slowly or not well. Think of apps from the Play Store and Linux apps. They also take longer to load. Furthermore, everything loads really fast on a Chromebook.
This article previously appeared on BestGetest, a platform that helps you make difficult choices quickly and easily when buying tech products. BestGetest consists of experts and its own test lab, where products are examined independently.
3. Most Chromebooks last a long time
That space-consuming operating system and working in the cloud means that less is demanded of your Chromebook. As a result, your battery often lasts a long time. Few processes run in the background, because everything is simpler. Your battery does not have to waste energy on that either.
Of course, the battery life decreases over the years, but you can assume with almost all Chromebooks that you can continue with it for ten hours. That’s perfect for a work or school day, including train journey.
4. We are satisfied with the security
Windows computers regularly come up with a pop-up telling you whether or not your computer is secure. Windows makes you as a user more responsible for the security of the operating system. On ChromeOS, this mostly happens in the background without notifying you.
Google itself ensures that many viruses are kept out and takes that responsibility seriously: all apps in the Play Store (Google’s app store) are also scanned daily for the presence of malicious components.
5. A Chromebook is quite cheap
In the past, the license for Windows was passed on in the price of a laptop. Partly because of this, Windows laptops were often more expensive. How exactly that works when you buy a new Windows 11 laptop is unknown. In the future, the price differences will probably be mainly in the specifications. Certainly low-end Chromebooks have less powerful specs than their Windows counterparts.
This is because ChromeOS, as a relatively small and simple operating system, requires less from the laptop anyway, so that fewer heavy technical parts are needed for an equally fast laptop with an extra long battery life. As a result, the price of a Chromebook is often lower than that of a regular laptop.
Recommended: HP Chromebook x360 14b-cb0135nd
With a Chromebook you want to do light computer work quickly and efficiently, and with this HP Chromebook you will be fine. The processor is brand new and delivers a lot of speed. It also comes with 8GB of RAM. That’s a lot for a Chromebook, but that extra bit of power can sometimes come in handy. The laptop can also be used as a tablet, thanks to the touchscreen and by turning the screen around.
Our test lab examined the most popular Chromebooks of 2021. Read more about the best Chromebooks of 2021, which includes both the BestTested Chromebook and the BestTested PriceTip.
Think of the cons
While we mainly focus on what’s positive about the Chromebook, there are also caveats. Precisely because these laptops are often quite light in terms of specifications, you cannot run heavy programs such as Photoshop or a video program, especially on the cheaper variants. In any case, many programs and games are not technically made to run on ChromeOS.
In addition, gaming is a problem, because most games are only made for Windows. In addition, many Chromebooks do not have a powerful video card to play games. If you still want to game, you can use Google Stadia, which allows you to stream a game that runs on a powerful cloud computer to your Chromebook. After purchasing a Chromebook, you can try Stadia Pro for free for three months.
Opt for a Chromebook
A Chromebook is great for a small wallet and for people who mainly use their laptop for things that take place in the Internet browser, such as emailing, schoolwork, shopping and video conferencing. You can also collaborate on reports in Google Docs or create a presentation in Google Slides. Do you want to take on the heavier work, such as editing videos or playing big games? Then a Chromebook is not the best choice.
A Chromebook is really a lite version of a full laptop. So you can also use it for lite tasks, such as composing and sending an email, shopping, social media use and creating spreadsheets. You can do the most common things on a Chromebook for a few hundred euros. So it’s no wonder that these handy laptops are gaining ground.
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